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Brent edges lower towards $107

Wednesday, July 23 08:11:26

Brent crude fell towards $107 a barrel on Wednesday, with a global oil glut keeping prices in check despite geopolitical tensions threatening supplies from key oil producing regions.

The European Union threatened Russia with harsher sanctions over Ukraine, while Israel pounded targets across the Gaza Strip with no ceasefire in sight.

Brent crude for September delivery fell 27 cents to $107.06 a barrel by 0700 GMT, after slipping 35 cents in the previous session. U.S. crude for September delivery was 42 cents lower at $101.97 a barrel.

"The fundamentals in Brent are very weak with a glut in places like Nigeria and Angola. But upcoming maintenance in the North Sea will help relieve that glut, which I think will support Brent in the next month or two," said Yusuke Seta, a commodity sales manager at Tokyo's Newedge Japan.

"And with strong supporting news in places like Iraq and Russia, I believe the bearish market sentiment is temporary," Seta said.

Investors in energy markets will focus their attention on the weekly crude oil inventory report from the U.S. Department of Energy's Energy Information Administration (EIA) due at 1430 GMT. Stocks are expected to decline 2.8 million barrels in the week to July 18, according to a Reuters survey.

Domestic crude stocks fell by 7.5 million barrels the previous week, the biggest draw since January, caused by a sharp increase in refinery activity.

The American Petroleum Institute (API) data released on Tuesday showed that U.S. crude inventories fell 555,000 barrels last week to 374.7 million.

(Reuters)

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